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Jenny Eden Coaching

JENNY EDEN COACHING

6 reasons why you overeat at Work (and what to do about it)

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href=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/psychology-buffets/the-psychology-of-buffets-and-3-types-buffet-eaters-to-watch-out-for\" rel=\"attachment wp-att-1092\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-1092\" src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/The-Psychology-of-Buffets-and-3-types-buffet-eaters-to-watch-out-for.jpg\" alt=\"Buffet Psychology\" width=\"940\" height=\"788\" /></a>\r\n\r\nBuffets are a psycho-social food experiment which is ripe for analysis in order to determine who we are as eaters. Sometimes, the overwhelming abundance, variety and tantalizing presentation of foods can override our good judgment. For some of us, such a wealth of choices brings out primitive urges for excess in preparation for feast or famine.\r\n\r\nI remember visiting Las Vegas about ten years ago with my husband. We were absolutely dumbstruck by the vast array of buffet options. These were not just buffets; they were MEGA-buffets, which were overwhelming. Yet, ten years later my husband still prods us to go to all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets to take advantage of these low-cost plentiful food choices.\r\n\r\nThere is a poignant scene in the book Unbroken when the freed POW soldiers, after months of starvation, are being airdropped tons and tons of food. Even for them, at a certain point, they had to say “Enough! It’s too much. “\r\n\r\nScarcity vs. abundance: this kind of polarized thinking affects many of our lives. It is one of the reasons we become black-and-white thinkers regarding food. We’re either in restriction and diet mode or we’re bingeing and indulging to our hearts’ delight. The most common thing I have heard throughout my fourteen years as a Health Coach is how my clients cannot find this middle ground, or to control their “dimmer switch”.\r\n\r\nAs an Eating Psychology Coach, I observe eating events, such as buffets, with an analytical eye. My observations indicate that people approach buffets in three distinct ways:\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2>1. <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">The grab-a-plate and go-to-town type </span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis individual embodies the typical, “our eyes are bigger than our stomachs” cliché by sampling a little of everything in the line with little pause for judicious and careful choices. This individual is delighted at the array of food, the fact that it’s “all you can eat” for x amount of dollars and wants to take advantage of every last bite. Food is extremely important to the grab-a plate type and there is a constant fear of scarcity, even amid huge buffets (after all, they might run out of Beef Wellington!).\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2>2. <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">The casually-walk-down the-line, observe-the-food-categories and offerings, and then carefully-decide-in-advance-what-to-eat type</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis individual is analytical in nature. He or she likes to plan in advance and make sensible, balanced and methodical choices when it comes to food. You might find this person adding just a few choice items onto his or her plate and eating slowing, happily enjoying every bite. This person loves food, but is not controlled by it and can easily choose the foods they find most delightful and nourishing. He or she often orders the made-to-order omelette, and doesn’t mind the wait.\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2>3. <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">The “I’m on a diet” buffet type</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis type agonizes before heading to a buffet (and might not go at all). He or she wants everything on that damned line, but uses sheer will to fight the Belgian waffle demons. You’ll find this person clenching her plate to begin the line, peering under lids only to be sad and disgusted when confronted with hollandaise sauce or some other heavy, rich food. He or she will sadly but boldly walk over to the salad bar and fruit section of the buffet, scantly fill a plate and then return to the waiter to request steamed salmon along with a diet coke.\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">Other lesser-known but significant buffet types:</span>\r\n<h3>1. The “I won’t touch the ladle that every other person in line has just touched” type.</h3>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis person may wear gloves or keep “wet wipes” in his or her bag.\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h3>2. The “Let’s just go for dessert first” type</h3>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n(self-explanatory).\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h3>3. <span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">The “Cranky eye-rolling, hate-waiting-in-line-for-this delicious-food” type</span></h3>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis person begrudgingly goes to a buffet but will bristle at the wait for that annoying person in front of him who can’t seem to get the correct pepper-to-lettuce ratio on the plate, but nevertheless keeps trying valiantly. When this cranky individual finally reaches the salad, he notices the tongs are sticky and this further irritates him (or her).\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h3>4. The “I-never-learned-to-share” type</h3>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThis person will push and shove anyone out of his or her way to get that last Danish or final piece of chocolate cake, leaving even 6-year olds crying in his or her wake.\r\n\r\nAs for me? I’m probably a hybrid but more closely lean towards #1. Buffets in general stress me out and bring me decision anxiety. Stress with food = no bueno. So, I’ll usually try to opt out whenever possible. Of course, being a vegetarian also adds an additional challenge to the situation – but I do enjoy watching other people at buffets. Next time you’re at a buffet, let me know which types you notice. Any types I missed? Do tell!\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\nAnd by the way…which type are you? Let me know in the comments below!\r\n\r\nPS. My observations are purely non-scientific, obviously, and just for fun!\r\n\r\nFor fun articles like this as well as recipes and tons of freebies and eating psychology tips, sign up for my weekly newsletter today!  I promise I\'ll never overload your inbox or give you any kind of spam!\r\n<a style=\"background: #ffce0a none repeat scroll 0% 0%; color: #ffffff; text-decoration: none; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; padding: 10px; display: inline-block; max-width: 300px; border-radius: 5px; text-shadow: 0px -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.25); box-shadow: 0px 1px 3px rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.5) inset, 0px 1px 3px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5);\" href=\"http://jennyedencoaching.leadpages.co/leadbox/141f6b773f72a2%3A1347ae9f5f46dc/5752571553644544/\" target=\"_blank\">Click Here to Subscribe</a><script src=\"https://jennyedencoaching.leadpages.co/leadbox-1468011387.js\" type=\"text/javascript\" data-leadbox=\"141f6b773f72a2:1347ae9f5f46dc\" data-url=\"http://jennyedencoaching.leadpages.co/leadbox/141f6b773f72a2%3A1347ae9f5f46dc/5752571553644544/\" data-config=\"%7B%7D\"></script>\r\n\r\n<a href=\"http://jennyedencoaching.leadpages.co/leadbox/141f6b773f72a2%3A1347ae9f5f46dc/5752571553644544/\" target=\"_blank\"><img src=\"https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Rs69kTPzueLAwdVwwPPl1mboBQuoC8Lc8HsdoWVm11Xsu2Aoxj0faDAKoXzEJU5wz4YgACLJdob35AATy6KltA=s0\" /></a><script src=\"https://jennyedencoaching.leadpages.co/leadbox-1468011387.js\" type=\"text/javascript\" data-leadbox=\"141f6b773f72a2:1347ae9f5f46dc\" data-url=\"http://jennyedencoaching.leadpages.co/leadbox/141f6b773f72a2%3A1347ae9f5f46dc/5752571553644544/\" data-config=\"%7B%7D\"></script>\";s:10:\"post_title\";s:73:\"The Psychology of Buffets (and 3 types of buffet-eaters to watch out for)\";s:12:\"post_excerpt\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_status\";s:7:\"publish\";s:14:\"comment_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:11:\"ping_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:13:\"post_password\";s:0:\"\";s:9:\"post_name\";s:18:\"psychology-buffets\";s:7:\"to_ping\";s:0:\"\";s:6:\"pinged\";s:0:\"\";s:13:\"post_modified\";s:19:\"2016-07-11 21:48:55\";s:17:\"post_modified_gmt\";s:19:\"2016-07-12 01:48:55\";s:21:\"post_content_filtered\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_parent\";i:0;s:4:\"guid\";s:36:\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/?p=1091\";s:10:\"menu_order\";i:0;s:9:\"post_type\";s:4:\"post\";s:14:\"post_mime_type\";s:0:\"\";s:13:\"comment_count\";s:1:\"2\";s:6:\"filter\";s:3:\"raw\";}i:1;O:7:\"WP_Post\":24:{s:2:\"ID\";i:1508;s:11:\"post_author\";s:1:\"1\";s:9:\"post_date\";s:19:\"2017-01-17 10:15:08\";s:13:\"post_date_gmt\";s:19:\"2017-01-17 15:15:08\";s:12:\"post_content\";s:7356:\"<h1 class=\"p1\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-1511\" src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/The-10-minute-Food-Fix.jpg\" alt=\"Food Fixes\" width=\"800\" height=\"800\" /></h1>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">I want to thank Audrey Holst for writing a guest blog this week for us about fixing our food fixes!  </span><span class=\"s1\">I\'m so excited to have her contribute some wisdom for us as I\'ve been following her for a while.  I also love that she is also based in Boston!    Here\'s a little bit more about her:</span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><img class=\"wp-image-1509 alignleft\" src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/audreyholst.png\" alt=\"\" width=\"202\" height=\"181\" /></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">\"When people are stressed, they feel like it\'s something they\'re doing wrong which makes them even more stressed out. Audrey gets it. As a former stress addict, she now helps busy people with no time that want to do good things in the world get rid of overwhelm and anxiety and worry. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Certified Bikram Yoga instructor and blogs about things that will make you sigh with relief at <a href=\"http://www.uncommonzen.com/\"><span class=\"s2\">www.UncommonZen.com</span></a>.\"</span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\">Take it away Audrey!</p>\r\n\r\n\r\n<hr />\r\n<p class=\"p1\">Jenny rocks and I\'m psyched that she has asked me to come by and share some stress reduction tips! Since we\'re halfway through January already we\'re finally waking out of the coma of holiday overindulgence. I don\'t know about you, but I certainly spent the better half of last year with a brownie in one hand and a plate of pigs in a blanket in the other. I\'m ready to get back to a normal eating schedule and life schedule.</p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">Jenny\'s advice to turn inward when it comes to addressing our relationship with food is a really good one. Whether it\'s dealing with our relationship with food or our relationships with other people or even our relationship with ourself, turning inward is the first place to start to make changes. But what does that actually mean? How do we turn inward?</span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">A simple starting point is what I call a ten minute sit. Ten minutes can seem like an eternity so if this is something you are just starting, five minutes may be enough. I prefer to do this first thing in the morning to set the tone for my day, but you can do it anytime. You may personally find you like to do it before bed. Here\'s how:</span></p>\r\n\r\n\r\n<hr />\r\n\r\n<ol>\r\n <li class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>Find a spot you can sit comfortably for 5-10 minutes, however long you\'ve decided to sit for. Ideally you want a location with no distractions in front of you (facing a wall is actually great) and a seat that you won\'t be slouching into, maybe a dining room chair or something similar.</strong></li>\r\n</ol>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>2.   Set your timer for your sit. I use the one on my phone and then put my phone on vibrate away from me so I\'m not tempted to check it.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>3.   Sit evenly on your sit bones and put your feet flat on the floor if possible. You can fold your hands in your lap or place them anywhere casual they can remain for the whole time. Take a deep breath and imagine someone is pulling your hair up to the ceiling to stretch your spine. When you exhale, let your spine remain long. Don\'t force it, just feel for that lift.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>4.  Keep your eyes open and soften your focus. The idea is to allow your gaze take in the landscape. If things look a little fuzzy, that\'s normal. You may be tempted to close your eyes but I encourage you to keep them open.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>5.   Hang out in this position and just breathe naturally. Notice the way the air feels going in and out by your nose. Notice how the air feels on your skin. Notice any sounds you may hear around you. Notice the physical sensations in your body. Just notice.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>6.  You may also notice all sorts of thoughts bouncing around in your head. You may wonder if you\'re doing this right. You may feel irritated. You may feel confused. You may get bored. You may start thinking about what you want to eat for lunch. You may wonder if you left the stove on. Just like you noticed all the physical stuff, notice the mental stuff as well. You don\'t need to address any of it, just watch it. You may see these thoughts as subtitles or word bubbles or some other way in your mind\'s eye.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>7.  When the thoughts come up, notice them, but then go back to feeling your breath, noticing your body, and other sensations you physically experience.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>8.  Keep noticing, keep breathing, keep being the observer of the experience.</strong></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\" style=\"padding-left: 30px;\"><strong>9.  When your timer goes off take a few more breaths and you are done.</strong></p>\r\n\r\n\r\n<hr />\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">What did you notice? Was your mind like a talkative and busy subway platform? Was it quiet? Did you play out a whole scenario in your mind while you just sat in a chair looking at a wall?</span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">The point is, we have a whole drama going on inside of us that we never really get a chance to watch because we are so busy being caught up in it. We have a thought about being hungry and we have food in our hand before we\'ve even noticed that we had a thought. We get angry and instantly open the freezer before we\'ve even stopped to wonder why. Sitting down starts to create some space between the thoughts and feelings we have and the actions we take. We start to realize we have more control over ourselves than we previously believed. </span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">When you sit for only 10 minutes on a regular basis, a thought may pop up during the day and you will see it and then be able to decide what to do with it. A feeling will come up and you will feel that feeling without having the rest of your world fall apart because of it. It seems unbelievable but I can attest to its power!</span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">What do you think about sitting for 5-10 minutes a day? How can you use what you observe during that time to help mold your relationship to food?</span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\">In addition to her website: www.UncommonZen.com, you can find her on social media!</p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">Facebook: <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/UncommonZen\"><span class=\"s2\">https://www.facebook.com/UncommonZen</span></a></span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">Instagram: <a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/audreyholst/\"><span class=\"s2\">https://www.instagram.com/audreyholst/</span></a></span></p>\r\n<p class=\"p1\"><span class=\"s1\">Email: <a href=\"mailto:audrey@uncommonzen.com\"><span class=\"s2\">audrey@uncommonzen.com</span></a></span></p>\r\n\r\n<div style=\"display: none;\"><img src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/audreypinterest.jpg\" /></div>\";s:10:\"post_title\";s:56:\"The 10-minute Food Fix - (that you can do in your PJ\'s)\";s:12:\"post_excerpt\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_status\";s:7:\"publish\";s:14:\"comment_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:11:\"ping_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:13:\"post_password\";s:0:\"\";s:9:\"post_name\";s:18:\"10-minute-food-fix\";s:7:\"to_ping\";s:0:\"\";s:6:\"pinged\";s:0:\"\";s:13:\"post_modified\";s:19:\"2017-01-17 14:29:37\";s:17:\"post_modified_gmt\";s:19:\"2017-01-17 19:29:37\";s:21:\"post_content_filtered\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_parent\";i:0;s:4:\"guid\";s:36:\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/?p=1508\";s:10:\"menu_order\";i:0;s:9:\"post_type\";s:4:\"post\";s:14:\"post_mime_type\";s:0:\"\";s:13:\"comment_count\";s:1:\"0\";s:6:\"filter\";s:3:\"raw\";}i:2;O:7:\"WP_Post\":24:{s:2:\"ID\";i:2274;s:11:\"post_author\";s:1:\"1\";s:9:\"post_date\";s:19:\"2018-03-19 09:33:29\";s:13:\"post_date_gmt\";s:19:\"2018-03-19 13:33:29\";s:12:\"post_content\";s:8477:\"<img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-2275\" src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/donut-fingers.jpg\" alt=\"food rebel\" width=\"5760\" height=\"3840\" />\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">I remember very clearly being an 8-year old little girl who ate when she was hungry and stopped when she was full.  I remember not thinking anything was particularly different about me. </span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">One day, I was invited to a friends house for dinner.  She served a lovely meal and even marveled at my ability to taste and appreciate complex flavors.  My palate was wide open. I was not a pizza and mac and cheese only kind of girl. (although that was great too)</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">I stopped eating when I was full and put my fork down.  I’ll never forget what my friends mom said to me next. “You usually eat a lot more than this right?  Are you sure you’re done?”</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Now maybe I was hypersensitive back then but I clearly remember being confused and hurt.  Was she commenting on my appetite and making presumptions based on my size? I couldn’t make sense of it as an 8 year old but it always stuck with me because it was one of the first times when I was given pause about my size perception to others and thus started being acutely aware of it myself.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">It\'s these little, sometimes seemingly innocuous comments about our bodies, our appetites or way of eating that little-by-little make an impact on us and fuels our desires to diet obsessively to “fit in” or over-exercise or question our worth based on our ravenousness or weight.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">As I write about in my book, <a href=\"https://www.amazon.com/Body-Image-Blueprint-Go-Self-Reverence/dp/0998857904/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1521466323&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=the+body+image+blueprint\"><span style=\"color: #ff0000;\">The Body Image Blueprint</span></a>, I recall another describing another incident when upon watching my mom throw out an entire roll of cookie dough, I gingerly reached into the garbage, when no one was looking and happily hid and ate the cookie dough in my room for a week.  I knew it was rebellious, I knew I was being sneaky but I did it anyway. </span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Why?</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Because I got the message that certain foods were “good” and certain foods were “bad.”  If I wanted the “bad” foods then certainly it meant that something was wrong with me and that I was bad somehow. Now I realize that of course I wanted those bad foods, we all do!  Because of the culture we live in, those foods are hugely abundant and cheap and delicious, lighting up the reward centers in our brain which cause us to seek more and more of it. Plus we’re biologically hard-wired to want sweet, salty and fatty foods.  And yet we still moralize and judge ourselves and others.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">If we believe all of the above is true and yet we still seek out, eat and crave those foods then we have a dilemma on our hands.  Psychologically, we perceive that WE are bad or wrong in wanting those foods and thereby sneak them to enjoy them and sometimes we even act rebelliously around food just to give the middle finger to anyone who has ever shamed you for your appetite or made you feel gluttonous or wrong for eating certain foods.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Triggering phrases (from your past or even now) can include:</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">“Are you sure you want seconds?”</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">“You better watch it, that is really fattening”</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">“That’s enough, I don’t want you to get too full”</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">“10 nutrition experts describe foods they will NEVER touch!”  &lt;&lt;&lt; magazine article headline</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">And there are many more.  These phrases came from our parents, our peers, our friend’s parents and they came from society at large.  The behemoth of judgement and shame is often too much and we begrudgingly comply with the arbitrary set of rules that have been thrusted upon us.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">We start to listen externally rather than from within to make our food choices.  We lose trust in ourselves and we become resentful at the rules that dissuade pleasure with eating.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">So what do we do?  We rebel! </span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">We rebel by getting and eating the full pizza even though you know it might make you sick</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">We rebel by eating the ice cream even though we’re no longer hungry</span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n<h2><span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">We rebel by eating whatever and whenever we want as a radical departure from and a big F you to anyone who tried to cage us and box us into a certain way of eating.  </span></h2>\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">We do it even though it often ends up only causing us angst and maybe even physical distress.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">My solution to this?  Slowly start to rid yourself of <a href=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/5-ways-tame-inner-dialogue-around-food\">scarcity and morality mindset</a> around food.  Start to see food as simply energy that has different consequences on our bodies and how we feel.  Start to listen to and trust that inner voice and try to drown out the ones of yesteryear or the experts that don’t personally know YOU and your own deep web of physical, emotional, familial, societal and biological stories.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">The more abundant we feel around food, the less we feel called to rebel or binge or feel fear around food.  Think about it. If every single food was totally allowed and encouraged and celebrated, no matter what it is or its nutrient density, those foods would stop having a major pull and allure.  Sure, we may eat a ton of it in the beginning, just like a caged animal runs around and joyfully plays once freed. But, eventually the novelty wears and we can become grounded and start to make choices that truly fuel us, mind, body and soul.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">One note about rebellion:  We all have a side of us that finds adventure and excitement at breaking the rules or doing something “naughty” or even out of character.  We’re a society contained by our many rules. Why else do we see so many political sexual scandals? Part of the excitement of these scandals is seeing what they can get away with and the fact that it’s not allowed or universally accepted.  It makes it feel more exciting, adventurous or even dangerous and we get a rush from that. </span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<strong>We get that also from food.</strong>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<script async id=\"_ck_361109\" src=\"https://forms.convertkit.com/361109?v=7\"></script>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">So, you can change the story here by making these types of food totally uneventful, available, and decidedly “not naughty” to take some of the allure out of it.  Couple that with allowing pleasure and awareness in the eating experience and owning the decision to eat them will help as well.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Lastly, because many (most?) of us have this “wild child” part of us, we need to find alternative ways to let him or her out in a way that is legal, socially acceptable yet still exciting.  When we allow ourselves to do this, once again, the need to do it with food becomes diminished.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Grab my list of “<a href=\"https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/361109?v=7\">Safe ways to let your wild child out” checklist</a> for some juicy and fun ideas.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<script async id=\"_ck_361109\" src=\"https://forms.convertkit.com/361109?v=7\"></script>\r\n\r\n<div style=display:none;><img src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/rebel.png\"></div>\r\n\";s:10:\"post_title\";s:28:\"Are you Using Food to Rebel?\";s:12:\"post_excerpt\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_status\";s:7:\"publish\";s:14:\"comment_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:11:\"ping_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:13:\"post_password\";s:0:\"\";s:9:\"post_name\";s:16:\"using-food-rebel\";s:7:\"to_ping\";s:0:\"\";s:6:\"pinged\";s:68:\"\nhttp://jennyedencoaching.com/5-ways-tame-inner-dialogue-around-food\";s:13:\"post_modified\";s:19:\"2018-03-19 09:46:49\";s:17:\"post_modified_gmt\";s:19:\"2018-03-19 13:46:49\";s:21:\"post_content_filtered\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_parent\";i:0;s:4:\"guid\";s:36:\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/?p=2274\";s:10:\"menu_order\";i:0;s:9:\"post_type\";s:4:\"post\";s:14:\"post_mime_type\";s:0:\"\";s:13:\"comment_count\";s:1:\"0\";s:6:\"filter\";s:3:\"raw\";}i:3;O:7:\"WP_Post\":24:{s:2:\"ID\";i:2365;s:11:\"post_author\";s:1:\"1\";s:9:\"post_date\";s:19:\"2018-05-14 14:15:42\";s:13:\"post_date_gmt\";s:19:\"2018-05-14 18:15:42\";s:12:\"post_content\";s:7648:\"<img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-2366\" src=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/dn-kartika-443632-unsplash.jpg\" alt=\"food boundaries\" width=\"2592\" height=\"3888\" />\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">I recently read an amazing book by Rachel Herz called “<a href=\"https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393243311/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=bberkcom-20&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;creativeASIN=0393243311&amp;linkId=603ffadc2ccb373168be09e341175cb7\">Why You eat What You eat</a>.”  It’s all about the science and psychology behind why we choose certain foods, enjoy and crave others and how our food culture, our senses and our sociability plays a role in our eating relationship.</span>\r\n\r\n<a href=\"https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393243311/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0393243311&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bberkcom-20&amp;linkId=33bd4b228a8fabb7ae806cd9e68f3078\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener\"><img src=\"//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;ASIN=0393243311&amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;ID=AsinImage&amp;WS=1&amp;Format=_SL250_&amp;tag=bberkcom-20\" border=\"0\" /></a><img style=\"border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;\" src=\"//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=bberkcom-20&amp;l=am2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0393243311\" alt=\"\" width=\"1\" height=\"1\" border=\"0\" />\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">One chapter in particular struck me as particularly interesting and that is how other people in our world and eating environments affect our own decisions around food.  In particular, because human beings have “mirror neurons” we often mimic, subconsciously, what our conversation (or dining) partner is doing. Put into application with respect to eating, we may find that we indulge more when our dining partners do and hold back when others are dieting.  We can’t help it. Our instincts are to recalibrate our behaviors based on what others are doing around us.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">This can be tough, however, when we’re in situations when we really want to advocate for ourselves in some way around food but feel like we’re burdening others while doing so.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Case in point:  When I gave up <a href=\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/how-giving-up-gluten-made-me-orthorexic\">gluten and dairy for a year</a>, I sheepishly ordered at restaurants, worried all the while that my <a href=\"https://youtu.be/IxeeeSUFpmE\">When Harry Met Sally</a> ordering style would be met with disdain or at the very least annoyance by the waiter and my dining partners, I simply went out to eat less.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Other times people experience this when they go to other people’s homes for a meal.  We want to honor the host by eating the meal they planned and cooked and might feel less inclined to let the host know ahead of time our food proclivities, allergies or preferences.  In my experience, most of the time the host is more than happy to accommodate my requests but it still feels uncomfortable nonetheless. As a vegetarian for 30 years, I’ve learned never to just assume there will be food for me to eat and I’ve had to learn to get uncomfortable by asking and advocating.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">This used to be particularly uncomfortable to me because I felt that my weight was a scarlet letter in the first place.  That I’d be requesting healthy or special food only invited a spotlight onto my physical body and questions about my diet.  As someone who lives with hashimoto’s disease, and always struggled with maintaining a smaller body (even when I was putting forth my most herculean efforts) I often felt the judgement and disbelief from others when I shared I was vegan and that I wanted lots of veggies.  I could almost hear their inner voices saying “yeah right, and then you’re binging on ho-ho’s when you get home.”</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">That was the story I believed. Whether or not it was true is another story altogether.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">The truth is, however, that we all need to create boundaries around our own eating experiences.  It\'s easy to feel shamed by others about what you eat or don’t eat, what type of dietary protocol you follow, and which foods light up your taste buds and which don’t.  </span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">I learned the hard way that I must always advocate for myself at special events, parties and restaurants or else I’ve gone home hungry or majorly disappointed.  When I was a chronic dieter, one food disappointment after I had given myself permission to actually eat one day often led to a “screw it, it’s not worth it” binge on random things when I got home.</span>\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Creating boundaries around food does not prevent you from intuitive eating, mindful eating or an abundance mindset around food.  It merely is a recognition that our food culture and often even our friends and family won’t necessarily advocate for you and if you want to be sure you are honoring both your appetite and your palate, its 100% ok to plan things for yourself.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Here are 5 ways to creates such boundaries in your food life.</span>\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">1. Notice when you tend to get hungry and prepare snack packs for the car and to put into your bag for situations when you don’t know if there will be something you like or can eat.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">2. <strong>Check menus ahead of time</strong>, especially if you are not the one who chose the restaurant.  Call ahead if you don’t see anything and ask the maitre’d if the chef can prepare something special for you to accommodate your needs.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\"><span style=\"color: #ff0000;\"><span style=\"color: #000000;\">3.</span> &gt;&gt;&gt; my favorite</span> - If you are plant-based or follow a certain protocol of eating due to sensitivities or allergies and find yourself at “family style” restaurant, be sure to order your own dish which is just for you and the rest you can take home.  I’ve been burned too many times when a lot of meat dishes are ordered and only 1 or 2 vegetarian dishes (which also get eaten by the meat eaters) and then I get only a few bites of it.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">4. When going to a picnic, BBQ or pot luck - always bring extra dishes or meals that you can eat.  Tell your host you’ll be happy to bring x, y, z which will be a crowd-pleaser but also something you will eat and enjoy.</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">5. Remember that it’s your body and you have sovereignty over it.  You don’t need to eat (or not eat) for anyone else or to save someone else’s feelings.  There are ways to be respectful, yet firm in going to bat for your nutritional needs. After all, if you don’t do it, who will?</span>\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Check out my <a href=\"https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/393086?v=7\">free video training</a> on Eating Empowerment on the go.</span>\r\n\r\n[convertkit form=5204872]\r\n\r\n&nbsp;\r\n\r\n<span style=\"font-weight: 400;\">What ways do you advocate for yourself around your own eating and food needs?</span>\r\n<div style=\"display: none;\"><img src=\"Ihttp://jennyedencoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/boundaries-1.png\" /></div>\";s:10:\"post_title\";s:24:\"Creating Food Boundaries\";s:12:\"post_excerpt\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_status\";s:7:\"publish\";s:14:\"comment_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:11:\"ping_status\";s:4:\"open\";s:13:\"post_password\";s:0:\"\";s:9:\"post_name\";s:24:\"creating-food-boundaries\";s:7:\"to_ping\";s:0:\"\";s:6:\"pinged\";s:69:\"\nhttp://jennyedencoaching.com/how-giving-up-gluten-made-me-orthorexic\";s:13:\"post_modified\";s:19:\"2018-05-14 14:30:49\";s:17:\"post_modified_gmt\";s:19:\"2018-05-14 18:30:49\";s:21:\"post_content_filtered\";s:0:\"\";s:11:\"post_parent\";i:0;s:4:\"guid\";s:36:\"http://jennyedencoaching.com/?p=2365\";s:10:\"menu_order\";i:0;s:9:\"post_type\";s:4:\"post\";s:14:\"post_mime_type\";s:0:\"\";s:13:\"comment_count\";s:1:\"3\";s:6:\"filter\";s:3:\"raw\";}}s:10:\"post_count\";i:4;s:12:\"current_post\";i:-1;s:11:\"in_the_loop\";b:0;s:4:\"post\";r:166;s:13:\"comment_count\";i:0;s:15:\"current_comment\";i:-1;s:11:\"found_posts\";s:2:\"33\";s:13:\"max_num_pages\";d:9;s:21:\"max_num_comment_pages\";i:0;s:9:\"is_single\";b:0;s:10:\"is_preview\";b:0;s:7:\"is_page\";b:0;s:10:\"is_archive\";b:1;s:7:\"is_date\";b:0;s:7:\"is_year\";b:0;s:8:\"is_month\";b:0;s:6:\"is_day\";b:0;s:7:\"is_time\";b:0;s:9:\"is_author\";b:0;s:11:\"is_category\";b:0;s:6:\"is_tag\";b:1;s:6:\"is_tax\";b:0;s:9:\"is_search\";b:0;s:7:\"is_feed\";b:0;s:15:\"is_comment_feed\";b:0;s:12:\"is_trackback\";b:0;s:7:\"is_home\";b:0;s:6:\"is_404\";b:0;s:8:\"is_embed\";b:0;s:8:\"is_paged\";b:0;s:8:\"is_admin\";b:0;s:13:\"is_attachment\";b:0;s:11:\"is_singular\";b:0;s:9:\"is_robots\";b:0;s:13:\"is_posts_page\";b:0;s:20:\"is_post_type_archive\";b:0;s:25:\"\0WP_Query\0query_vars_hash\";s:32:\"f2579d6d427b873bd9b6835592974c66\";s:28:\"\0WP_Query\0query_vars_changed\";b:0;s:17:\"thumbnails_cached\";b:0;s:19:\"\0WP_Query\0stopwords\";N;s:23:\"\0WP_Query\0compat_fields\";a:2:{i:0;s:15:\"query_vars_hash\";i:1;s:18:\"query_vars_changed\";}s:24:\"\0WP_Query\0compat_methods\";a:2:{i:0;s:16:\"init_query_flags\";i:1;s:15:\"parse_tax_query\";}}', 'no') ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE `option_name` = VALUES(`option_name`), `option_value` = VALUES(`option_value`), `autoload` = VALUES(`autoload`)

Food at work

 

Its 1:30pm and I’ve just come back from my extended lunch hour at my sales assistant job at New York Magazine. I know what to expect and as always, I’m not disappointed. You see, the sweet and generous receptionist for the almost year I worked there there always left each sales assistant 2-3 little pieces of chocolate on our chairs after lunch as a little treat. I got used to this. I started to expect it and look forward to it. One day, I came back from lunch and was shocked and dismayed to see there was no chocolate there. I went to find out what went wrong, what happened and why I wasn’t getting my post-lunch “fix.” Much to my chagrin, I learned that the receptionist was out sick that day. Did she have no idea at the repercussions of this? So insensitive! Feeling agitated and unsatisfied I headed to the vending machine on the 2nd floor and grabbed a chocolate bar and followed through with the food script that had been presented to me on day one and that I now could not shake. Looking back, I knew I had become beholden to this daily treat even though I was no longer hungry after lunch and definitely didn’t need it. In fact, had it never been presented to me in the first place, I would have been none the wiser.

Many of us struggle with eating in the work environment. We may eat more or differently than we do at home. We may stress eat or eat distractedly. We may ignore hunger cues due to the busyness and or cadences of the day or due to the office culture. In this article, I hope to outline some of the common causes for this and then, of course, what we can do about it.

 

6 reasons why we overeat or stress eat in the office

 

 

Our Mirror neuron

 

As social beings, we will often instinctively mirror or mimic what another person we are with is doing.  So, if they scratch their nose, we might automatically scratch our noses too. This shows up in our eating style too. We will mimic what we see others doing in general and definitely at an office setting. If the boss is eating in meetings, than we feel at liberty to do so also. But, if no one is eating, we can be stuck waiting hours before we can honor our hunger. Maybe once we can finally access food, we’re so hungry that we end up eating fast and whatever is around rather than a carefully laid out plan for a balanced and nourished snack to help fuel you for the rest of the work day. Or we raid the vending machine.

 

Availability

 

Often times there are foods available to us that may not be as common at home. We may see shared common space with leftover cakes, pies, and candy from halloween brought in by co-workers. We may have our boss order in subs for everyone for a meeting. We may be coaxed into an after-work drink with a colleague. We want to fit in, to not be different or eat differently than that of the office culture so we comply or share in that food experience with our co-worker despite it not really working for us. Plain and simple, there is a lot of availability to certain foods that is alluring and undeniable.

 

Stress

 

We use food to relieve stress. Do you ever feel stressed at work? Are you ever on a deadline or work through lunch? There is so much nuance at work regarding our work ethic, office culture and our ability to create self-care there that sometimes our most basic needs get thrown under the bus. I remember at one job I had in my 20’s being so busy and so stressed that I didn’t even feel like I could take a break to pee! I just suffered through it. Some people will end up NOT eating all day and then completely break down at the end of the day and hit a fast food establishment on their way home. Others will deal with the stress by making spontaneous choices just to get something in their stomach. So, whereas with enough balance, eating rhythm and planning you might have that avocado toast and green smoothie, when we’re stressed and busy, we can snarf down a few easy pieces of pizza instead, or hit the break room where you know there are some cookies and soda. Your body nonetheless sees both of these options as a stress response and will further hinder your ability to relax and stay grounded.

Related Post:  Top 10 Crunchy snacks that don’t involve chips!

 

 

Proximity of food 

 

“If it’s there you’ll eat it.” Studies have been done on proximity and access to food and human beings eating more of it as a result, irrespective of hunger. So, if there is one jar of candy on your desk, unwrapped (like jelly beans) you are far more likely to eat handfuls of it than lets say tootsie rolls, in a jar, up on a shelf, near a coworkers desk. The very proximity and easy access to the jelly beans (no need to unwrap them) will cause us to eat far more than the further away and wrapped candy.

 

 

Time of day

 

Our blood sugars naturally drop around the 2-4pm range during the day. As such we seek energy. Most of us don’t have the time or liberty take a nap at the office so we hit the vending machine or crave carbs and therefore eat carbs. Besides, where is the brussel sprout and strawberries vending machines?  You can see how that can end up being an ongoing problem.

 

 

Habit

 

Now we can re-visit to my two little pieces of chocolate each day after lunch at new York Magazine. Because I had inadvertently developed the food script, or habit of eating this chocolate every day, at the same time and under the same circumstances, my brain started to expect it and CRAVE it. While the sweet office receptionist was trying to be kind and bring joy to the office, it ended up leaving me totally hooked and ultimately disempowered.  In many ways that I ended up seeking it out an alternative way, to follow the habit and food script that I had come to love. What food scripts have you developed in your own office setting?

 

 

Solutions for eating empowerment in the work and office environment.

 

Pre-plan

 

Stash macronutrient balanced foods and snacks in your drawer, bag and in the office fridge (if you have). Write out a plan for the day and use it as a guide or blueprint to remind you to eat and take breaks during the day.

 

 

Drink water throughout the day and take mini-snack breaks.

 

 

Take mindfulness breaks

 

This is particularly helpful if you do tend to get stressed or distracted at work. Close the door, go outside or even to a bathroom stall and take 2-5 minutes to focus on your breath and to ground yourself and be mindful of what is going on with you, what you need and how your body is feeling.

 

 

Use movement to combat late afternoon tiredness

 

Even walking up and down some stairs to see a coworker rather than calling him or her can help break the food script and serve to give you more energy.

 

 

Use location organization 

 

Help plan for and anticipate your challenging times of day. If you know that the office break room is triggering for you, avoid it or take a different path that circumvents visiting that spot. Make sure there are plenty of balanced and nourishing foods on hand, right within your grasp or nearby to grab when you need something to eat. This can’t be done spontaneously. Part of eating empowerment means anticipating and planning for your day in advance, by knowing your hunger, knowing your triggers and your food scripts and planning accordingly.

 

 

Bring food that you like to eat in for everyone

 

Command the food narrative at the office. Be part of the solution by taking the lead.

 

 

What else do you do to feel empowered around your eating in the workspace. What have been your biggest challenges and best assets or strategies that have helped you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas and experiences in the comments section below!

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One thought on “6 reasons why you overeat at Work (and what to do about it)

  1. Collette says:

    All of this is so true! I find I snack way more at work than I would normally, or skip meals that I wouldn’t depending on the stress or boredom of the day. Great solutions for how to fix the problem!

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